Backyard Games for Bday Party for 3 and 5 Year Old

Updated on May 13, 2013
J.S. asks from Kalamazoo, MI
13 answers

I'm doing a joint bday cookout for my girls in a couple weeks. We are keeping it low key and I want to do "old school" backyard games. The kids will basically range from 3 years old to 7 years old (11 children). I was thinking slip and slide (potential disaster at this young age?), three legged race, sack races, egg on spoon races...are these even possible for this age? Maybe badminton? Other ideas?

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answers from San Francisco on

I love "old school" games and so do/did my kids!
You could do a scavenger hunt (like an Easter egg hunt, just throw candy around the yard and let them find it) pin the tail on the donkey, or a pinata. It's nice to have something "crafty" set up somewhere, even if it's just coloring pages or sidewalk chalk, for the kids who may not feel like playing a game.
Have fun and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Los Angeles on

At this age, I would keep it simple.
The 3 legged race w/3 yr olds probably wouldn't be a good idea.
Egg on a spoon wouldn't be possible w/the 3 yr olds but the older kids
could do it.
How about some simpler games:
-bean bag toss for prizes
-ring toss around 2 liter bottles of soda
-pin the tail on the donkey
-a sand pit w/hidden pirate treasure
-some balls to throw around
-beach ball to throw around
-a couple of balls to kick around

Have fun & happy birthday!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I would just throw a bunch of outdoor toys out there and let them have at them. Organized activities are hard with 5 older kids and you have 11 younger kids. Your going to be stressed beyond belief if you have to keep rounding them up for games.

Get balls, hula hoops, bubbles, squirt guns, slip and slide, sidewalk chalk, cheap foam swords, etc.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

We did cookout birthdays for my son every year until he turned 7 and we opted for an amusement park. Aside from the stress of worrying that it would rain, they were great. We turned it into a neighborhood party, and had kids of all ages. We always did a big blowup swimming pool, a slip n slide, water guns and beach balls. One year I also cut pool noodles in half, wrapped one end with silver duct tape and voila - light sabers for all. Aside from that the only organized activity we did was a pinata. Seriously, once the kids started running around and playing, they didn't need or want parental intervention. The older ones and a few parents kept an eye on the kids doing the sliding, but other than that it was free form fun. When it was time to eat the kids dried off and came inside for food and presents - then pinata. Have fun!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'd definitely nix the Slip & Slide at that age, what about doing a water balloon toss w/them, have them take a step back & throw the balloon, another step back, throw it til they miss, what about bubbles & maybe a relay race where they have to dress up. We did this at my dd's party - split them up in teams, have the same items for each team, pick one child who the team will dress up & have them go from one side to the next getting the items on. The kids had a blast, especially when the one little girl lost her pants! Have fun!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

You may need to inform the older kids to let the 3 year olds win every once in a while, or see if you can team them up.

Red light, green light

Simon says.. Let the kids lead these every once in a while.

You can hide things in the sand box. like buried treasure,

You could do an easy "Go Fish" game.

Kids love to just run around and play.. s you may not need a ton of organized activities.

Pinata.. You can fill it with stickers, tattoos, small packages of gummy fruit

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Egg on a spoon can work. musical chairs, freeze dance, red light green light, simon says are all good at this age. Three is probably young for three legged races and sack races, sicne they require more coordination.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Blow up balloons, dont tie them, give each kid a balloon and see who can get closest to a target when they let it go

get a bunch of candy and have a treasure hunt

see who can balance an oreo on their forhead the longest

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i don't think i'd bother with the slip and slide, it would worry me too much and you'll have enough to supervise. since it's old school (terrific!!), don't overdo it. have 3 organized games, and other than that, just let them run and play.
the best toy or game for kids is other kids.
have fun!
:) khairete

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

You have preschoolers and big kids. Put out outdoor toys for the little ones. Three year olds cannot do 3 legged race, egg race etc. you can try so e organized games with the bigger kids. A sprinkler would be fun for all. If you had that, games would not be needed. Kids love water.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Detroit on

For my daughters first birthday I had an art party. I had huge cafeteria tables set up with all different mediums. It was july, so I had a three lane slip and slide for the kids to cool/wash off. The slip and slide was a HUGE hit with the kids. They ranged from 1-7 years old. I think the key was I bought the slip and slide with the blow up boogie boards. The kids were very respectful and took turns with very little supervision. The older kids were very patient when the younger ones were sitting on certain lanes-they just used the other two.
The slip and slide was much better than any organized games. I would do that and hula hoops and other outdoor toys as the other responses suggested.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Kids will really want to run around and play. Balloons are THE most dangerous item a parent can give a kid. I take CPR/First Aid with the fire department and local docs. They tell stories about how that one child was running around with a balloon and it popped. A small piece got in the child's throat. The child always dies. The fire department can't get past the slick rubber stretchy balloon. If they even get there in time to try and save the child there is literally nothing they can do. Only a surgeon with surgical tools can cut the child's throat open and cut the piece out.

I know, I always have something negative to say. BUT if one of the kids was to have this happen you'd know time was critical and perhaps be able to tell the paramedics exactly what happened and they "might" be able to help the child.

We have survived many many parties without balloons. You can too.

I suggest that you just let the kiddo'splay and have fun, come open presents, then eat cake, then go back to playing, then go home.



answers from Appleton on

Give them sidewalk chalk and have each child draw a picture of a birthday cake on the driveway. Kids love sidewalk chalk and it all washes away with a hose or the next rain.

Hop Scotch, jump rope, water ballon toss, clothes pin drop ( drop clothes pins into a large bottle or jar) croquet, kickball.

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